TK and Then Move On

Seth Godin:

The origin of the editor’s mark “TK” is murky. It’s what you write when there’s a fact or addition you’re waiting on. Instead of stopping everything, simply type “TK” and you know you can come back and fix it later.

The modern purpose of TK is that there are few words in English that contain these two letters juxtaposed in this way, so it’s super easy to use Word to search your manuscript. (Except for ‘latkes’ and ‘pocketknife.’) But I think it predates search.

The magic of TK is more interesting. The existence of TK means we don’t have to stop and wait for everything to be perfect before we proceed.

If the flooring for the kitchen hasn’t arrived yet, TK and then move on to wallpaper the dining room.

Our lives are filled with TK moments. It’ll come. No need to stop and wait for it.

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Killing Your Old Self

Seth Godin:

Each of us has a chance to be new tomorrow, if we care enough.

The only way to get better is to walk away from what you used to believe. And the person you become can’t possibly be the same as the person you were.

Steve Pavlina:

I have the freedom to create a present moment that is disloyal to my past in a purely linear sense. I do not have to identify myself based on my history if I see that it no longer serves me to do so.

Ryan Holiday:

“One has to kill a few of one’s natural selves to let the rest grow — a very painful slaughter of innocents.” – Henry Sidwick.

You, the ambitious young person, how many of your natural selves have you identified yet? How many of them are suffocating? Are you prepared for the collateral damage that’s going to come along with letting the best version of you out?

My victims:

Ryan, college student 1 year from graduating with honors
Ryan, the Hollywood executive and wunderkind
Ryan, director of marketing for American Apparel

All dead before 25. May they rest in pieces.

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Only the hits

Seth Godin:

The economics are compelling. Start a movie studio, a record label or a book publisher that only markets hits. No clunkers. No filler. Simply the hits.

Easier than it sounds.

Why doesn’t a musician go straight to a “greatest hits” record and save everyone a lot of time and hassle? Why doesn’t a salesperson only call on people who are sure to buy?

Because no one knows anything.

You won’t know if it’s a hit until after you bring it to market. Dylan recorded 50 albums. Picasso painted 10,000 paintings. VCs fund hundreds of businesses.

Do your best. Then ship.

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Seth Godin on mentors and heroes:

I am in the minority here: I think mentors are way overrated. They don’t scale, it’s an unequal relationship, and it’s an easy way to let yourself off the hook: “I wish I had a mentor”.

Heroes are in enormously large supply. You can say: What would Bill Gates do? What would Elon Musk do? What would Jacqueline Novogratz do? And you can study their work enough, that even from afar, without them knowing you exist — because they’re your hero — you can start to model it.


I find heroes everywhere I look. I find people who speak to me over my shoulder, virtual muses, who encourage me to solve a problem or deal with a situation the way they would. This is thrilling news, because there are so many heroes, so freely available, whenever we need them.

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